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Opal Lore

As the third week of October is upon us, I am going to tell you a scary story, you may want to dim the lights. Once, there was this woman who bought Opal pendant!! GASP! Cover your head with a blanket! Turn the lights on! Oh, the horror!!! At this point, you are probably wondering how weird I am or are chuckling, and I hope it is the latter! Let me explain myself.

One of the most consistent things I heard over the years from customers is that while they enjoyed Opal, they knew it was bad luck to buy one for yourself and wear one if it wasn’t your birthstone. You too may have had that lore passed down to you from a well-meaning source who considered it wisdom from the ancients. In fact, that thought is a relatively new idea! In 1829, Sir Walter Scott wrote a very popular novel called Anne of Geierstein where one of the characters was so beautiful and independent that the villagers knew she had to be a witch. When the Opal she always wore was dropped from her neck, she disappeared forever. In the days where being a strong woman was considered witchcraft, people avoided Opal out of fear, but today, we know that is ridiculous! It’s the modern equivalent of being disappointed with yourself because your Hogwarts letter didn’t arrive by owl post when you turned 11. (I know, I know, the Ministry of Magic was destroyed around 1996 when Voldemort tried to steal a prophecy, so your letter must have been overlooked in that mess!) You see, there is nothing inherently wrong with Opal, and wearing it isn’t a source of bad luck. Fine Opal is beautiful and different than any other gemstone!

Opals have been revered by scholars and enthusiasts since it was first discovered! Throughout the years, the various colors displayed in fine Opal have filled people with wonder, as no other stone has bright reds, cool greens, vibrant yellows, and deep blues contained in a singular gemstone. Pliny, the famous Roman scholar, said “Some opali carry such a play within them that they equal the deepest and richest colors of painters. Others…simulate the flaming fire of burning sulphur and even the bright blaze of burning oil.” The Romans gave it the name Opalus which means precious stone. Arabic legend said it came from lightening while ancient Greeks thought it gave the wearer the gift of prophecy and protection. With the exception of Sir Walter Scott’s take on the gemstone, Opal has always been considered a gemstone with positive vibes!

From reading my past blogs, you probably know that I am a huge fan of diamonds, but what you may not know is that Opal is my favorite gemstone! For 23 years, I mentored under local Opal expert Stan Sherwin and have developed my own eye for fine Opal. In this first blog, I wanted to dispel the myth of Opal’s bad luck so that we could talk about it’s fascinating science and origin, including why the above Black Opal is so vibrant!

If you’d like guidance with your jewelry purchase and are looking for a more tailored jewelry shopping experience, book your private appointment with me! Why shop with the crowd?

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